Martellus Bennett said he wants all the reps he can get with Aaron Rodgers. Bennett finally got some in a game setting when the Green Bay Packers quarterback made a surprising appearance in Saturday's preseason contest at Washington.
After Bennett dropped a pass on Rodgers' first throw, the tight end showed why the Packers think he'll be so valuable, especially in the red zone. Bennett caught a 3-yard touchdown on what could be an unstoppable play for the Packers. Rodgers lofted a fade to Bennett, who easily snagged it over linebacker Zach Brown, a veteran who gives up 6 inches in height to Bennett.
"I think this is why you play the preseason," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said in a halftime interview on the Packers' preseason TV network broadcast. "You need those opportunities, create those opportunities for Marty and Aaron to have. Great execution."
It was the lone series for Rodgers and the No. 1 offense in the 21-17 victory over the Redskins at FedEx Field.
Here's a look at other highlights from the Packers' second of four preseason games:
QB depth chart: After Rodgers' one and only series, Brett Hundley played the rest of the first half, as well as the first series of the third quarter. Hundley battled shoddy protection but directed a touchdown drive that included a 38-yard completion down the right sideline to Jeff Janis. Hundley finished 9-of-10 for 107 yards without an interception, despite being sacked three times. Fourth-string quarterback Taysom Hill had an electrifying 23-yard scramble for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
When it was starters vs. starters, the Packers looked ... like the potent offense everyone expects, with a 15-play, 75-play touchdown drive. The No. 1 defense once again held up well against the run. The Redskins had just 10 yards rushing on 11 attempts in the first half and only one rushing first down. Last week, the Packers held the Philadelphia Eagles to 47 rushing yards on 19 attempts.
One reason to be concerned: If the Packers were to lose one of their starting tackles -- David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga -- they could be in trouble, based on the way second-year pro Jason Spriggs played at left tackle on Saturday. Spriggs allowed at least two sacks and might have been responsible for a third.
That guy could start: Josh Hawkins. The second-year former undrafted free agent put himself into the mix at cornerback. He got the start with Davon House (hamstring) and Damarious Randall (concussion) out. On the first series alone, Hawkins made a solid tackle on third-and-12 to force a punt, then broke up a pass in the end zone to tight end Vernon Davis after the Redskins continued the drive on a muffed punt. Later, Hawkins broke up a pass to Davis with a hard hit that jarred the ball lose, then broke up a would-be, 4-yard touchdown pass to receiver Ryan Grant.
Rookie watch: Only one of the Packers' top four draft picks played. That was cornerback Kevin King, who started. Fellow second-round pick Josh Jones was a surprise scratch. He got his right foot stepped on in practice on Tuesday but was back on the field on Wednesday. Third-round pick Montravius Adams (foot) and fourth-rounder Vince Biegel (foot) remain out indefinitely.
Muffed punt: Trevor Davis, who lost the punt-return job last season when he fumbled against the Tennessee Titans, muffed another one in the first quarter against the Redskins. It put Davis right back on the hot seat a week after he seemingly grabbed the job with a 68-yard return for a touchdown. Rookie cornerback King didn't help Davis, because he never moved the gunner off his course and allowed the opponent to get close to Davis.
Injury report: Second-year defensive end Dean Lowry left in the first half with a knee injury. There was no immediate word on the severity. Lowry has been one of the most improved players in training camp. And the Packers already are a little thin on the defensive line, with rookie Adams still out and Letroy Guion having been released. Linebacker Jordan Tripp, cornerback LaDarius Gunter and linebacker Derrick Mathews also exited the game and were evaluated for concussions.
Punting problems: Justin Vogel's first four hang times -- 3.9, 4.1, 3.6 and 3.81 seconds -- were not good enough. The rookie punter had been solid in practice and in the preseason opener before this outing. He finally got a good one off late in the third quarter -- a 54-yarder with 5.1 seconds of hang time. On seven punts, he played two inside the 20 and averaged 4.13 seconds of hang time.